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Friday, November 1, 2013

Who Will Win Alderman Race?

George Wenschhof

Trying to predict the five winners from ten candidates who will serve on The City of Frederick board of alderman is always difficult.

Sadly, when voters are asked to pick candidates to fill multiple slots, under votes often occur.  What happens is a voter has one or two, maybe three candidates they have made up their mind to vote for on Election Day.

Afterward, they either vote party ticket, a familiar name to fill up their five votes, or they simply choose not to exercise their right to vote, in this case, for five candidates.

The other tricky maneuver utilized by some candidates is to tell their close supporters to single-shot or bullet vote, meaning just vote for them.

The general consensus I am hearing and one I agree with is incumbent Democratic aldermen Michael O’Connor and Kelly Russell will be reelected.  They have both performed well in their first term in office and deserve another four years.

The next name I hear most often from voters from both sides of the aisle is Democrat Josh Bokee.  Bokee ran for alderman in the 2009 election and fell short. He stayed involved in city politics serving on the city planning commission.  His time on the planning commission earned him further respect so look to see him also be elected.

In what is expected to be another low voter turnout election and with the likely high number of under votes, the next two slots will be closely contested.

Democrats John Daniels and Donna Kuzemchak have experience and knowledge of city hall and would serve the voters well as aldermen.

Daniels has the demeanor and familiarity with city hall to enable him to be one of the most effective aldermen on the board.  He will add reasonable and thoughtful decision making to the board of aldermen.

He has been campaigning hard and with the help of former Democratic sixth district congressional candidate Don DeArmon, Daniels is be a favorite to fill out one of the next two slots on the board.

Donna, a former three term alderman, has been much more energized in this campaign, following her loss in 2009 and will also be in the mix to complete the five member board of aldermen.

The only experienced Republican candidate is former one term alderman Alan Imhoff.  He has name recognition from having run for office on numerous occasions and also having served on many city committees.

Recognizing, he is in the mix, he is going door-to-door to meet with voters, not something he has been known to do in the past.

Phil Dacey raised the most money out of the aldermen candidates, but most of the donations came from outside of the city so it is hard to project what this will mean in votes.  He does have many campaign signs and spent his campaign funds on glossy mailers, three of which were received at my home on the same day.  He also was the only candidate to pay folks to go door to door for him.  His connections to ultra right conservative former state senator Alex Mooney may hurt him in the city election.  However, his money raised will make him competitive for one of the remaining seats on the board.

The most often description and criticism I have heard in regard to Katie Nash is she is a grandstander, one who will drop the sensational headline to get attention, but one who had little substance or knowledge of the issue she was highlighting.

Her signs depict her last name, the same as popular former Democratic alderman and current planning commission member; Meta Nash.  There is no relation, but sadly some voters will think they are casting their ballot for Meta or a relative of Meta.

Dave Schmidt and Daniel Cowell campaigned hard in their first entry into a political election. However, I believe they will both fall short.

It is very likely Democrats will maintain a majority on the board and a strong possibility this election will be a clean sweep by Democratic candidates.

Stay tuned.

Make sure you vote on November 5.
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